Government and Civil Service

Government and civil service

The Cabinet is composed of senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister. Most cabinet members are heads of government departments, and therefore have the title "Secretary of State".

The Cabinet is a committee of the Privy Council. All members of the Cabinet are privy counsellors for life, and are therefore known as "The Right Honourable....."

Government departments are led politically by a Government Minister, assisted by a team of junior Ministers. The administration of the Department is the responsibility of a civil servant known as a Permanent Secretary.

Non-ministerial departments are headed by senior civil servants, and generally have responsibility for areas where political control is considered inappropriate - for example regulation or inspection.

The UK has members of three different parliaments: Members of Parliament (MPs) refers to the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. MEPs are members of the European Parliament, the administration of the EU, MSPs are elected members of the Scottish Parliament.

In Wales, the Welsh Assembly is not empowered to make primary legislation; the 60 elected members of the National Assembly use the English title Assembly Member (AM) or the Welsh equivalent Aelod y Cynulliad (AC).

Elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are known as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).

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